Monday, May 31, 2010

Squint Shot 053110

I feel like I'm building a story with the last couple of squint shots. Two days ago, a doorway was shown were I supposed members may have entered the building through a third floor entrance, walked along a hallway (yesterday's squint shot), and, with today's pictures, this is the peephole to give identification through. Could I be right? The first picture is for the entrant and the second photograph shows the paddle that would be swung aside for the one allowing entrance to the room.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Squint Shot 053010

This may seem like a rather strange picture, but I couldn't resist. As with the door sill in the basement that was shown quite a few squint shots back, this is worn wood, walked on, and chunked away after years of feet moving through this narrow room. As with yesterday's shot, I have wondered if the doorway at the southeast corner of the building was the entrance for members for their meetings, was this the hallway they used to get to the ballroom?

Good Manners

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Squint Shot 052910

On the third floor of the Harmon Building there is a door at the southeast corner of the building. It is securely shut by this latch and a metal cord because, if you head outside, there is the door but no stairway. It makes one wonder what the staircase looked like -- was it a fire escape or was it a back entrance for the members for their meetings?

Snack-urday 167

Instead of a recipe today, here is some trivia --

Bread is a basic food made from a flour-and-water dough, normally with yeast, baked in an oven. No other food is as redolent of myth, rite, and tradition as bread. Central to meals until almost the end of the second millennium (more so than meat), it is indeed the 'staff of life.' Breadmaking dates back to at least 9000 BC; the first breads were cooked on heated bakestones, many of which survive. The invention of leavened bread (around 5000 BC) is attributed to the Egyptians, who made bread from millet and barley and may have discovered fermentation by chance when a piece of dough became sour. In the Middle Ages, the bakery trade developed in diversity and complexity. Part of the baker's art is the careful choice of ingredients and the manipulation of factors such as oven temperature, length of baking time, and humidity, all of which affect the crumb, thickness, and quality of bread crust.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Squint Shot 052810

A window within the third floor is what I found in the Harmon building. On the third floor, after checking out the suitcase shown in yesterday's squint shot, I turned back around in this small room at the north side of the building and found this partially opened pass-through. The small drinking fountain can be seen in the other room, which was a squint shot a few days ago. So, I wonder, which room was the kitchen, if there was one? Was one room a small dining room? Oh the questions.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Squint Shot 052710

Someone's old, leather suitcase sits quietly in a corner, opened with a few odds and ends in the bottom -- on the third floor of the Harmon building. I could build a whole fictional story around it, but that would only temporarily ease my curiosity. I wonder who it belonged to, did it get used for interesting travels, is the owner still around and just doesn't know the suitcase is there?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Squint Shot 052610

A few days back for the squint shot, I showed a doorknob on one of the doors to a second-floor office. This old, "beaded" doorknob is on the third floor of the Harmon building. It could use a little polishing, but it was still very smooth to the touch. How many hands used this knob to enter the room since the building was constructed over a hundred years ago?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Squint Shot 052510

Still in the Harmon building, and here is an old, old latch for one of the doors on the third floor. With a bit of a nudge, it still worked.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Squint Shot 052410

The Harmon building has three floors and a basement -- but does it also have an attic? Or is this former access to the roof? There was no way to investigate since the ceilings in both the second and third floor (where this is) are at least 10 feet high, maybe more. I felt dwarfed as I wandered through the massive rooms.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Squint Shot 052310

This drinking fountain, water source, is a real step-back-in-time. How often now do you find an open-spout drinking fountain? In today's world, we drink bottled water when we are out and about. Obviously this miniature sink has not seen water in a very long time, but how unique I found the spigot. The Harmon building's second and third floor are a treasure-trove of unique pieces of hardware, construction, and porcelain.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Squint Shot 052210

Sometime, when you are walking in the downtown area or stopped at the traffic light, look up at the unique windows in the Harmon building. This squint shot is of one of the east-facing windows on the third floor, from the inside. Although the picture doesn't show it as much, each pane of glass is a slightly different shade, from nearly clear to frosty white to a pale pink. Original glass?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Squint Shot 052110

The last few days' squint shots were of the ballroom, or meeting room, on the third floor of the Harmon building. Now we are in the corner room. It is almost as large, has windows on the south side of the room with a view of Grand River, old heavy-duty tables pushed against one wall, and a shuffleboard court painted on the wooden floor. I'm starting to think shuffleboard may have been very popular at one time, as a similar layout can be found on the second floor of the Handy Township building.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Squint Shot 052010

Yesterday's squint shot shows a single lightbulb at the center of the ballroom on the third floor of the Harmon building. This light fixture, at one time, lit the back wall. Both globes are broken or cracked, but one has to wonder what kind of glow came through this frosted glass. The fixture stands very high on the wall -- I wanted to touch the base hooked to the wall to get a feel for the quality used in these fixtures, but it was too high up.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Squint Shot 051910

After checking out the stage remaining in the old ballroom on the third floor of the Harmon Real Estate building, I stood in the center of the room for a few minutes. It was dead calm and eerily quiet. So much so, I took this picture of the single lightbulb hanging in the middle of the room and moved on. There just has to be so much history that has been tucked away regarding what went on in these rooms and halls.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Squint Shot 051810

A canopy was shown in yesterday's squint shot. This is the stage below it. Both are located on the third floor of the Harmon building, West Grand River side. I knocked on the wood to find how solid this platform sounded -- good. The wood is smooth from many years of use and the stage had a solid feel to it. A little tap dance anyone?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Squint Shot 051710

As mentioned in yesterday's squint shot, the third floor of the Harmon building has a ballroom, used at one time for monthly meetings of various organizations. At the south wall, at the center window of this room, this canopy still remains. A stage is below the canopy. One might begine to wonder who sat under this royal-looking shelter and what the meetings were like.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


There's always someone goofing up the pics!

Squint Shot 051610

The third floor of the Harmon building, on the West Grand River side, this huge ballroom takes up about a quarter of the area space. Wood wainscotting surrounds the room with wallpaper on the walls. Wallpaper on the ceiling is slowing drooping down. This would have been the room for many of the monthly meetings for groups such as the I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd-Fellows).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Snack-urday 166

Here's some picnic food to take the beach, or even the back yard.

Shrimp Salsa

1/2 lb salad shrimp
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 clover garlic, minced

Stir the salad shrimp, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic together in a large glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the flavors combine, at least one hour. Serve cold.

Squint Shot 051510

After having scoured the second floor, I headed up these steps to the third floor of the Harmon building. I had my trusty flashlight with me instead of being concerned about the electricity. These steps saw a great deal of traffic at one time -- there are wear marks on the stairs and walls. From my understanding, various organizations held their monthly meetings on the third floor. But no longer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Squint Shot 051410

As I headed toward the back of the second floor of the Harmon building, I turned around to take this picture of the hallway. The offices, years ago, were busy with doctors, lawyers, and dentists; and the halls would have been teeming with people going about their daily business. Now the silence was only broken by the sound of my footsteps.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Squint Shot 051310

A few days ago, the squint shot showed some of the construction methods used for the walls partitioning the second floor into office space in the Harmon building. Today's picture shows the ceiling work that was done years earlier.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Squint Shot 051210

At one time, the rooms of the second and third floors of the Harmon building would have been filled with desks and tables, chairs and sidebars, lamps and lights. Now only a few pieces of old furniture are scattered through the rooms. I took this picture, not only for the chair, but also for a view of the solid, thick molding used when these rooms were finished.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Squint Shot 051110

As I continued on my way through the second floor of the Harmon building, these two round light switches caught my attention. These were really cool looking to me and I pondered how they might look recessed into the wall . . . just a small, round button by the door. I was tempted to flick the switches, but didn't.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Squint Shot 051010

This is a great looking door knob. Could it be original? We are still on the second floor of the Harmon Building looking around at hardware, construction, views, and so much more. From my understanding, at one time, dentists, doctors, and attorneys used some of the offices on the second floor.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Squint Shot 050910

The Harmon building is over a hundred years old. Therefore . . . the walls dividing the second floor into various rooms that served as offices were made as shown. Some rooms have plaster covering the wood lath, but others are bared open. It is so interesting to see the work that went into creating these partitions.

Happy Mom's Day

If you have ever had kids fight over which bed they are going to sleep in, head here. And check out Amuse Me, my personal blog for Mother's Day -- enjoy your day! And then, this card was sent to me a few years -- enjoy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Snack-urday 165

Make this casserole tonight, refrigerate, then tomorrow morning, Mother's Day (by the way), pop it into the oven and surprise your family.


12 slices white bread
1 11 oz can white kernel corn, drained
1 4 oz can chopped green chiles, undrained
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican blend
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 t salt


1. Remove crust from bread; place 6 slices in a lightly greased 12x8x2-inch baking dish.
2. Spoon half of corn and half of chiles over the bread, then sprinkle with half of the cheese.
3. Layer remaining bread, corn, chiles, and cheese.
4. Whisk together eggs, milk, and salt; pour over last layers.
5. Cover and refrigerate overnight, about 8-10 hours.
6. In the morning, remove from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes.
7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

this fiesta breakfast casserole serves 8.

Squint Shot 050810

Something I have found interesting is the unusual hardware still preserved in many of the old buildings. These latches in the Harmon building, second floor, held closed a couple of cupboard doors. I was so tempted to check out how they worked, but figured it was none of my business what was inside -- so maybe another time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Squint Shot 050710

Yesterday's squint shot showed the view from the second floor of the Harmon Real Estate building, looking toward South Grand Avenue. This picture is looking eastward on the main drag.

Stamp Out Hunger

Here's an easy way to do our part to help out.

Tomorrow is "Stamp Out Hunger" Day, sponsored by the postal carriers. You can read more about it by clicking here.

Leave a bag filled with non-perishable food by your mailbox -- the mail carrier will leave your mail and pick up the bag of food. Let's fill of up their cars with food.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Squint Shot 050610

It was a rainy day the afternoon I spent wandering around this old building. From the second floor, South Grand Avenue looked as such. This squint shot was taken from the room probably used by the Jaycees as lettering for their organization still remains on the corner window. Next time you are at the intersection, look up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Squint Shot 050510

These spindles can be found along the staircase up to the second floor of the Harmon Real Estate building. In the late 1970s, work was done on the outside of the building, and (I'm kind of supposing here) possibly some work was done on the inside. The Fowlerville Jaycees used to use some of the rooms on the second floor during this same time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Squint Shot 050410

From the basement through the main floor and now up the stairs to the second floor -- we are in the Harmon Real Estate building, also known as the Sidell Block and before that the Palmerton Block. These double doors are at about a third of the way up to the second floor.It was dark on the other side of the doors, but I had my trusty flashlight with me. This is the door handle. Tomorrow we head up the steps.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Squint Shot 050310

So often I am pointing my camera upward. This time, though, it was directed to the floor. The doorway away from the coal shute back into the main area of the basement in the Harmon Real Estate building has this well-worn doorsill. I actually had to stop and ponder how long this piece of wood has been here, exactly how petrified it must be, and of how many hundreds of footsteps crossed through this doorway. Untold numbers.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning

A Ritual of Spring -- Words of Wisdom from Sheila Moss, Humor Columnist

Ah, Spring is here! Hormones surge... instinct takes over.. a woman's thoughts turn to... HOUSE CLEANING! Yes, it's true! Dust is in the air. It is time to celebrate the honored ritual of spring house cleaning.

It must be a primitive nesting instinct, the urge to renew and revive. Suddenly it becomes apparent that your house resembles a college dorm room.

Here are a few of the tell-tell signs.

~~Your front door has more fingerprints than the FBI.
~~The dust mites are having an anniversary party under your bed.
~~You are wearing clothes from the floor of the closet - inside out
~~Your family is eating off paper plates so you don't have to open the cabinets.
~~You need a gas mask when you open the refrigerator.
~~The kids can't find their toys -- in fact they can't find the toy box.
~~The garbage disposal is coughing.
~~You can't find the cordless phone unless it rings.
~~You can't turn on the ceiling fan without creating a dust storm.
~~Your chore for the day is to find the vacuum cleaner bags -- and the vacuum cleaner.
~~The remote control has been lost in a sofa crack since the end of football season.
~~The kitty litter is a concrete block.
~~The cat has been missing for three days.
~~There is something solid and black in the bottom of the coffeepot.
~~You can't decide whether to clean the windows or just buy mini blinds.
~~The dog has offered to loan you his doghouse.
~~The mail hasn't been opened since last tax season.
~~The piles of magazines may fall over and bury you.
~~You are afraid to turn on the oven because bugs may be raising a family in there.
~~You wonder if a hose down would ruin the carpets.
~~There is something sprouting in the dishwasher.
~~The washing machine reminds you of a concrete mixer.
~~You introduce your kids as the three little pigs.
~~You can't go outside because fresh air makes you dizzy.
~~It seems easier to move than to clean the house.

If any of these seem slightly familiar, you too may have spring cleaning fever. The male of the species is seldom affected. Like PMS, spring cleaning fever is exclusive to the female.

Fortunately, the cure is rather simple. Apply soap and water, disinfectant, furniture polish, scouring power, grease solvent, and plenty of elbow grease and your fever will be cured in a matter of hours, with results lasting at least till the family gets home.

Squint Shot 050210

Yesterday, we began a tour through the basement of the Harmon Real Estate building. It is what many refer to as a "Michigan basement" with colorful rocks and grey mortared -- beautiful in its own right. But what caught my eye was this black half-sized door. It extended from the ceiling halfway down to the floor. From the outside of the building, there is no evidence now of this door, but years earlier there would have been a hatch to open to allow coal to be shoveled into the basement. The now empty bins are to the left, not in the picture.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Snack-urday 164

Go . . . go . . . go on a picnic. It is the weekend, after all.

Outdoor Equipment Essentials

~~Portable grill
~~Charcoal, lighter fluid, matches (some manufacturers sell small bags of briquettes designed for one use: burn them, bag and all--no lighter fluid required)
~~Barbeque tools: tongs, metal spatula, grill rack, oven mitts
~~Games: Frisbees, soccer balls, baseball bat, ball, gloves, kites
~~Portable stereo
~~Insect repellant, sunscreen, first aid kit
~~Baking soda or small fire extinguisher to tame grease fires

Squint Shot 050110

And, as quickly as being outside yesterday, we are back inside today and for quite a few days' worth of squint shots. About a year ago, I quickly toured the upper two floors of the building owned by Harmon's Real Estate. I posted a few squint shots then, but now I've got more. I spent a bit more time and was graciously allowed by Paul Harmon to wander to my heart's content. I started in the basement -- yes, there is a basement. There is a low ceiling but plenty of lighting enable my investigations. Old hardware, crystal doorknobs (as above), and intriguing lighting kept me looking in every direction.